Health Aids That Live At Your Desk, Because So Do You.

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Home sweet home.

Bonus: none of these are location dependent. Work in a coffee shop? You can do this! Standing desk? Sure, you hipster douchebag!* Hunched up on your bed with your laptop? All this shit fits on a nightstand, next to the lube and that serious book you want your one-night-stands to think you’re reading.

Tennis Ball. Use it for self-massage, releasing whatever that shoot pain in your hip is, rolling your probably overworked forearms and hands on, and throwing at people. Really, for a couple of bucks a can, you can’t get a better multi-tasker. Plus, apparently there’s a game you can play with them or something?

Water. Not coffee. I’m sorry, coffee, you know I love you, but you are not a replacement for water. Bonus: drinking more water makes you retain less water, so you feel less like a bloated sack of crap when you leave your desk to go be human among the humans for a while.

Fitness Tracker. Entirely unnecessary, but it does add a certain “futuristic cyborg” element to the day. Mine reminds me to move occasionally, presumably because it thinks I’ve died. My selection process boiled down to “this one looks the least like shit, so I’ll probably actually wear it.”

Eye Drops. Working at a computer leaves me with eyeballs that feel like marbles covered in sandpaper and then dipped in hot sauce. Get some drops so you can stop peering at people like you were just accidentally awoken from cryo-sleep.

Stretches. We’re all going to be hunchy gargoyles before too much longer. Stand tall above your peers and stave off vulture neck by occasionally doing some stretches and exercises.

*I did the standing desk for a while. I liked it, but found that it only worked for certain types of work. First draft writing was great, editing not so much.

In Which I Hold A Conversation With A Body Part

CWMI 006 Re-amputation at the hip joint

Later that day, my hip struck out on its own. (Photo credit: otisarchives4)

Me: Ow.

Hip: Oh, hey.

Me:  The fuck? Why do you hurt so much?

Hip: I don’t know. Remember that pop in fencing class a few weeks ago? The one that you didn’t rest properly?

Me: One pulled muscle sidelines me? Bullshit.

Hip: Maybe it’s because you’re in your thirties now and are passing your expiration date.

Me: I am not a dairy product.

Hip: Oh, well then maybe it’s because you’ve spent most of the last twenty years planted in a fucking chair. You ever stop to think what that does to me?

Me: …No. Because you’re a body part.

Hip: One of your body parts, princess. So until things improve around here, I’m going to feel like this.

Me: Ow! Stop it. Look, how am I supposed to run like this? Or do yoga. Or fencing. I thought you liked that stuff.

Hip: I do. But shit’s got to change, or I’m out of here.

Me: You’ll look pretty funny going down the street by yourself.

Hip: You’ll look pretty funny on crutches.

Me: You’re an ass.

Hip: You don’t say.

Me: All right, clearly you have something in mind. What do you want?

Hip: A standing desk.

Me: A standing—do I look like a fucking hipster to you? No.

Hip: Fine. Then I quit.

Me: You can’t quit. You— *falls to floor* All right, I guess you can quit.

Hip: Why do you make me do things like that?

Me: But if I stand all day my calves will explode.

Hip: Ask me if I give a shit. Those slackers have had it easy for two decades. They’re not the ones that feel like broken glass. Let them fucking explode.

Me: But I’ll be tired.

Hip: Okay, buttercup, here’s your choices: be tired for a few weeks, or be a bloated, injury-prone writer carcass that gets eaten first in the zombie apocalypse. That how you want to go?

Me: But I have a desk. One I like. Where they hell would I put another one?

Hip: But that’s the thing: you don’t need another one. Just rearrange some bookshelves and work over there. There’s got to be some reason to having a laptop other than poor posture and bad ergonomics. Or you can ride the pine for the next six months while I mull over healing properly.

Me: I have no choice, do I?

Hip: No, honey. You don’t.

Me: Okay, I’ll cut you a deal: I’ll try the standing desk for November. All my writing will be done there. And I’ll reevaluate at the end. Deal?

Hip: Deal. Now are you going to rearrange those shelves or do I have to do everything myself?

Me:…This is going to be a long month.